Some Suggestions for Reading a Mathematics Text  Math 221 Linear Algebra  Fall 2014
Reading mathematics is an acquired skill, but it can significantly improve your understanding of the mathematical content and help make the class meetings much more engaging for you.
As the term goes on, you should
find that reading the text before class becomes easier and allows you to be more efficient in the time you spend on the class.
Here are a few suggestions.

Expect to spend 30 to 60 minutes before class for each reading assignment.
You may not completely understand everything in the section, but
the class meetings will be much more meaningful and the homework will be much
easier for you if you have spent time with the reading before class.

Expect to reread.
A mathematics text is not light reading, so
you should expect that it may take several passes through a section
before you absorb the material. After we have discussed a section in
class, go back and reread the section  Many points will be much
clearer.

Be sure you understand the keywords.
If you are unsure on some
of the terminology, use the index to find where a term is defined.

Read with a pencil and paper in hand.
You learn mathematics by doing. If the text asks you to check
the calculations, then do it!

Maintain a list of definitions and theorems.
There is quite a bit of notation in the course, and the statements of some of the theorems are somewhat subtle. You will internalize these
ideas much better by keeping your own list to which you can easily refer.

Reflect on what you have read.
Every so often, stop and think
about what you have read, how it fits in with past material, and where you
think it is going.

Keep this page handy.
Print this list out to keep in your copy of the text, or bookmark this page, and reread it every few weeks.

If you feel the assignments are taking you too long,
please come see me.
The point of the reading is to help you
learn the course material. If you feel that they have become an obstacle, then we can talk about strategies to help the assignments serve their intended purpose.

